Friday, May 28, 2010

Dedicated To Buffet Employees

I decided to write this article after reading some of what was said by an employee at OCB who commented on the article that I wrote two weeks ago. Aside from the reaction to my criticism of the restaurant that he/she works at, there was a lot that he/she said about being abused and mistreated by customers who come to the restaurant. This is something that I have seen for myself - at a number of buffets. And it is just not right to do.

Some people who go to buffet restaurants feel that the table staff are nothing but, what are referred to in the restaurant business, bus boys. They do not regard these employees on the same level as waiters or waitresses in menu restaurants. Since these people do not take your order and carry out your meal from the kitchen, course by course, these people are not given the same regard. Which is wrong. What many do not realize is that these table staff do a lot more than a waiter or waitress in just the prompt recognition that your plates need clearing and, in some buffets, your drinks need refilling. They are actually working a lot harder than some waiters or waitresses. Now, I don't want to be hearing from waitresses and waiters, who are going to say, hey, we do a hard job too. Yes, you do, but so do the buffet table staff and the same respect that is afforded to waiters and waitresses - and the same level of tips - should be afforded to the buffet table staff.

Tips - many people feel that there is no need to tip anyone at a buffet - after all you have to go and fill your own plates and get your own food. Well, right from the beginning of this site we said that a tip should always be left at a buffet and it should be left in an amount equivalent to what you would have left the waiter or waitress in a menu restaurant. Now, I am one who believes that if the staff does not do a good job the tip should be lowered accordingly. It should not be an expectation that a certain amount based upon the cost of the meal should be given. But when the service is average to good a proper tip should reflect that.

Often at a buffet the fault of the management or a slow kitchen staff is taken out on the employees working around the buffet servers. It is not their fault that they do not have something to put out if that item is not coming out of the kitchen. They can only bring what is available to them to bring. It is their job to report to the kitchen what is needed and also to the manager if the food is not coming out as it should, but beyond that they do not control what comes out and when. As they are right there it is easy to feel that they are the ones to complain to - but the one that you should be seeking out and complaining to is the manager. It is only the manager that is actually going to do something about it. A good manager will respond immediately and direct the staff responsible to not repeat what went wrong. Hopefully, after several warnings, there will be a change for the better - or the manager will make changes in employees.

So when you go to a buffet, make sure you smile and be pleasant to all of the staff. Say hello to the person who comes to your table. Greet the workers at the buffet servers. Be polite to the carver at the carving station. We always are. We go out of our way to be polite and nice to the employees at the buffets and expect the same in return - which we often get. And when your meal is done, leave a tip. Appreciate the people working at the restaurant and do not treat them as if they are servants (who should be treated with respect as well - for those who have servants). These are hardworking people who are not earning nearly enough for the work that they do.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post

Al said...

good posting. thank you for sharing this article